Saturday, May 13, 2017

Ghanaian Sulley Muntari Says 2018 World Cup will "bring peace"

Ghanaian Sulley Muntari

Sulley Muntari of Ghana, who plays for Pescara in Italy's Serie A, wants to see change from FIFA and UEFA, he said they should provide more support for players who have been racially abused.

Muntari was suspended last month when he receive his second yellow card for leaving the pitch in a match at Cagliari. Though the decision was later overturned, it exemplified the limitations put on racially abused players like Muntari who appealed to the referee to take action before taking matters into his own hands.

"I am pleading to FIFA, UEFA, whoever, (to) look into things like this, because, most (players) get abused but they can't say anything," Muntari told CNN

In Bahrain, the FIFA Council "expressed its concern at recent high-profile incidents of racism and emphasized that member associations and referees should be ready to adopt a strict policy to deal with incidents of racist nature.

It's not just the level of support offered by the football authorities that has been troubling Muntari, who reveals that he received little support from his own Pescara teammates during and after the match.

"No one said anything and I wasn't expecting anybody to say anything," the 32-year-old says. "I look at certain things, I get really angry with them. Because your teammates are your family, (whether) you like it or not.

"You see them every day and for them to turn their back on you was something not very pleasant."
Muntari approached a section of the stands where he says he heard racial chants, and offered his jersey to a young fan as a symbolic gesture before storming off the pitch with just minutes left to play.

Match officials in Italy are required to temporarily stop play and issue warnings to put a curb on racist behavior. Muntari says the fourth official confirmed he heard abuse from a section of the crowd, but tthe second yellow card left him "feeling like a criminal."

"I think it is a good thing that Russia is going to host the next World Cup," said Muntari.
"They will show that maybe all Russians aren't racist. The world will see another part of Russia, and Russia will see another part of the world. They will mingle with different kinds of people, different kinds of states."

"FIFA has done well, because you can't run from your problems. You have to tackle (them)," he says.
"I have no doubt that the World Cup there is going to be amazing, and is going to bring a lot of people together, and peace."

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